The social side

Here’s a trope I’d like to see the end of: “Bellydancers are so bitchy!”

Bellydance is a creative activity where your performance often ends up channelling deep emotions and so it becomes very personal. You can have a lot invested in one performance. Bellydance is also a field where work is scarce, paid work even more so, and so there is a lot of competition for the performance work which is available. Deep emotional investment and competition – of course you’re not always going to rub along nicely with everyone. Look, any time you get two or more people together, doing a thing of some kind, there is the potential for infighting and power struggles. No profession or pastime has a monopoly on this. No gender has a monopoly on this. However, there is also the potential for friendship, collaboration and inspiring each other to reach even greater heights. I have encountered much, much more of this in my bellydance lifetime than any infighting. I won’t pretend its all hugs and sisterhood and kum-ba-yah around the campfire because that’s just creepy and real people aren’t like that. I’ve been lucky to meet and work with dancers from all over the UK and beyond and made some great friends doing it. Dance friends clap and cheer the loudest, pick you up after a bad performance and when real life makes an unwelcome intrusion they’re there to support you. Dance friends are the best 🙂

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